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EQT, the Portakabin bidder, guides the family towards an exceptional salary

The Yorkshire family behind modular buildings group Portakabin is heading for a record payday amid talks with investors over a potential deal.

Sky News has learned that EQT Infrastructure is among the parties in discussions with Shepherd Group, founded in 1890 by Frederick Shepherd, over a takeover of Portakabin.

An insider on Tuesday described Swedish company EQT as the favorite to strike a deal, although it was unclear whether it was in exclusive talks or whether other bidders remained in the running.

The size and structure of a transaction was also unclear.

York-based Shepherd Group brought in Rothschild bankers to launch a process over the summer.

Some reports suggest it could be valued at £2 billion, although this figure could not be verified.

The company invented the Portaloo toilets, now widely used at festivals and sporting events, and Portakabin was established as a standalone company in 1961.

A rival company called Modular was acquired by Brookfield from TDR Capital in 2021 for around $5 billion, highlighting investor interest in the sector.

Portakabin operates in seven countries and employs around 2,200 people, according to its website.

Both Shepherd Group and EQT declined to comment.

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